India-grown gin and changing drinking culture on World Gin Day 2024 | - Times of India (2024)


gin market in India

has seen a significant upsurge in recent years, transforming from a niche segment into a thriving industry. This shift is marked by the emergence of numerous homegrown gin brands that are pushing the boundaries of flavour and innovation. As consumer preferences mature and the entrepreneurial spirit within the beverage industry flourishes, the Indian drinking scenario is experiencing a significant change.

If we look at the data of gin drinkers in India, gin consumption grew by 6.7 per cent in 2021 as per a report by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. This indicates a shift in consumer preferences toward premium and craft spirits and the growth is driven by a combination of factors including increasing disposable incomes, a youthful demographic eager to explore new beverages, and the influence of global drinking trends.
Indian gin

is carving a unique identity by incorporating local botanicals such as turmeric, fennel, and Gondhoraj lime, setting it apart from traditional gins. The innovative use of these ingredients has not only enhanced the flavour profiles but also captured the imagination of both local and international consumeINR Brands like Greater Than, Hapusa, and Stranger & Sons are leading the charge, each offering distinct flavour experiences and winning prestigious awards globally.

India-grown gin and changing drinking culture on World Gin Day 2024 | - Times of India (1)

Furthermore, the rise of gin-centric bars and the trend of at-home mixology have contributed to gin's growing popularity. As reported by International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR), the gin segment is expected to continue its upward trajectory, solidifying its place among more established spirits like whiskey and vodka. This evolution underscores the dynamic nature of India's beverage industry and its capacity for innovation and growth.
A surge in innovation and experimentation
We spoke to Vikram Achanta, who is an industry expert and the Founder & CEO of Tulleeho and he aptly describes the current state of the

Indian gin market

, “As India’s 'Gin-sanity' continues, a variety of newer brands are emerging, and the gin market has transitioned from a nascent one into a more discerning arena. Indian gin makers are experimenting with botanicals and flavours to create distinctive gins with spicy, smokey, or floral profiles.” This innovation is not just confined to the gin itself but extends to mixology, with bartenders incorporating unique Indian ingredients such as turmeric, saffron, and chai into their co*cktails.

Changing consumer preferences and drinking culture

The rise of Indian gin is not just about new brands and innovative flavours; it reflects a broader shift in the Indian drinking culture. As Vikram rightly points out, “In recent years, consumer preferences have matured significantly - from exploring different options to finding (and sticking with) their preferred gin.” This maturation is evident in the growing appreciation for quality and craftsmanship, with consumers increasingly favouring premium and craft gins over mass-produced options.

India-grown gin and changing drinking culture on World Gin Day 2024 | - Times of India (2)

The influence of global trends, combined with a renewed interest in local ingredients and traditional flavours, has created a unique and dynamic gin market in India. Bartenders and mixologists are at the forefront of this change, using indigenous botanicals to create co*cktails that resonate with Indian palates while offering a global appeal.
The future of Indian gin
The entrepreneurial zeal within India's beverage industry is a driving force behind the gin boom. With more new-age entrepreneurs entering the market, there is a continuous push for innovation and excellence. The success of Indian gin brands in both domestic and international markets is a testament to their quality and the growing global recognition of Indian spirits. As the gin market continues to evolve, we can expect to see more exciting developments, from new flavour profiles and unique botanical blends to innovative marketing strategies and expanded availability. The future of Indian gin looks bright, with endless possibilities for growth and exploration.
As we talk about the Indian gin brands, here’s a detailed guide on the popular Indian gin brands that are gaining popularity these days…

Greater Than
As India's first craft gin, Greater Than Gin combines nine unique botanicals, including juniper berries, orange peel, lemongrass, fennel, coriander seeds, chamomile, almonds, ginger and angelica root. It is known for its versatility in co*cktails and is priced between INR 900 and INR 2,245. Greater Than Gin is available both domestically and internationally and continues to be a favourite among gin enthusiasts.
Hapusa is the world's first Himalayan Dry Gin by NAO Spirits, made exclusively with Indian botanicals such as Gondhoraj, Turmeric, and Raw Mango. It offers an earthy, bold, and smooth gin experience. Priced between INR 2,120 and INR 4,350, Hapusa is available in various Indian states and international markets, having won multiple awards.
Nicobar Gin features a blend of elderflower, hibiscus, grains of paradise, and three varieties of juniper, resulting in a complex and well-rounded flavour profile. Available in Madhya Pradesh and soon in other states, it is priced at INR 2,360 and won a Bronze Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2024.
Stranger & Sons
Launched in 2018, Stranger & Sons has won over 50 awards, including a Gold Outstanding medal at IWSC. This gin combines Indian citrus peels, black pepper, coriander, and more, offering a spiced and warm finish. Priced between INR 1,500 and INR 2,790, it is available across India and several international markets.

Short Story
With its zesty and complex flavour profile, Short Story Gin has won Gold Medals at several prestigious competitions. Available in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa, Daman & Diu, and Karnataka, it is priced between INR 899 and INR 2,245.
Kumaon & I
This gin brand by Himmaleh Spirits offers a refreshing interplay of cooling spicy peppercorns, citrus, and herbal rainforest notes, boasting a rich textural palate and a medium-dry, lingering finish. With prices ranging from INR 2,710 in Uttarakhand to INR 4,360 in Karnataka, this gin has garnered acclaim, winning the 'Best Visitor Attraction/Single Estate Category of the Year' at the Icons of Gin India 2024.
Doja is a unique blend of Indian and Japanese botanicals, featuring Yuzu, Cedar, Sansho Pepper, Hinoki, Coriander, Pepper, Fennel, and Cardamom. Crafted using the single-shot distillation method, it offers a full-bodied gin with a citrus aftertaste. Available in Goa, Mumbai, and Delhi, it is priced between INR 2,050 and INR 3,250 and has won a Gold at the Global Asian Masters Award 2024.
Jin Jiji presents two distinct offerings by PEAK Spirits - the India Dry Gin and the Jin Jiji Darjeeling. The former features soft tones of juniper and sweet spices with delicate nuances of chamomile and mint, while the latter pays homage to Indian Masala Tea with notes of juniper, mint, freshly picked tea, herbs, orris, ginger, and citrus. Priced between INR 980 and INR 2,791, Jin Jiji has won multiple awards, including a Gold medal at the World Spirits Competition in 2020.
ALSO READ: Interesting uses and benefits of gin that will surprise you
India's first sipping gin, Mohulo, captures the essence of India with delicate floral notes, a smooth and well-balanced palate, and a long, lingering finish with a touch of spice. Priced at INR 5000 and available in Delhi and Mumbai, it won the Best Super Premium Gin at the 2024 Ambrosia Awards.
Portal Gin by East Side Distillery blends Indian botanicals with the traditional London Dry style, offering a balanced taste experience with pine, citrus zest, earthiness, and fresh herbs. Priced at INR 1,850 in Mumbai and INR 1,049 in Goa, Portal Gin won a Gold Award at the Global Asian Masters in 2024.

India-grown gin and changing drinking culture on World Gin Day 2024 | - Times of India (3)

Great Indian Gin (GiG)
The gin features a complex flavour profile, starting with Indian spices like cardamom, cassia bark, and pepper, and transitioning to fruity notes of juniper berries and citrus. It contains nine botanicals - juniper berries, coriander, lemon peel, cassia bark, cardamom, fennel, angelica root, liquorice, and pepper. Great Indian Gin is available in Bangalore, Goa, Puduch*erry, and Telangana. Pricing varies by state; in Bangalore, a 750 ml bottle costs INR 2150, while 180 ml and 60 ml bottles are INR 530 and INR 177, respectively.
(Images courtesy: Canva)

India-grown gin and changing drinking culture on World Gin Day 2024 | - Times of India (2024)


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